Blog of the Week – Are You Hungry?

Are You HungryIf you are anything like me and have a bread maker that generally sits in a cupboard and only comes out occasionally, well you might want to rethink that habit.

Our Blog of the Week this week is ‘Are you Hungry?’ and here we find a woman who whips up dough for foccaccia, pizza bases and a variety of breads in her bread maker.

So guess what, I dragged out my bread maker so that I can try some of these really tasty sounding recipes.

Now three recipes caught my eye in the first instance.  The first is the Quick Dill or Cheesy Biscuits where Kathleen gives you two biscuit recipes plus the formula to make your own baking mix, which is ideal if you aren’t fond of store brought baking mix or if you feel it is too expensive. The baking mix recipe keeps for up to 6 weeks in an air tight container or 6 months in the freezer.

Then there are the Orange and Oatmeal breakfast breads. Kathleen has adapted the Oatmeal recipe from an old Betty Crocker book so that it is suitable to make in the breadmaker and  the Cinamon Sunshine bread that she has adapted from other recipes.

As I said before, if you spend the time to read through this great blog, the tasty recipes will soon have you wanting to make more use of your bread maker.   

Now for the ‘piece de resistance’ one of my all time favorites ‘Pigs in Blankets’. Kathleen has provided a recipe for ‘ Bread machine onion bread’ in which to make a delicious bread in which to wrap the sausages or hot dogs.

So there you have it, another excellent recipe blog  that I found over on La Bella Vita. And in case you are wondering how the blog got its name, well its something we can all relate to when we are growing up, our mothers and aunts always seemed concerned that we hadn’t eaten enough or weren’t getting our fill of food and would always ask ‘Are you Hungry?’ So it made sense to Kathleen that this was an ideal name for her recipe blog and I agree.

Please take the time to visit ‘Are You Hungry?’, another excellent cooking blog.


Review: The Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook: Recipes for the Best Pan in Your Kitchen

The Cast Iron Skillet CookbookPeople have been cooking with cast iron skillets for hundreds of years. It’s a time-tested method for making eggs, bacon and of course corn bread.

A cast iron skillet is a versatile piece of cookware that works both on top of the stove as well as in the oven.  And a cast iron skillet can be used for hundreds of recipes. That’s why we are so happy with The Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook: Recipes for the Best Pan in Your Kitchen.

There are plenty of cookbooks on the market that can teach you how to make everything from soup to dessert. But not too many cookbooks focus on the humble cast iron skillet.

We are really impressed with the attention to detail this book provides. It has recipes for the beginner right throughto the professional chef. It’s really quite surprising how much you can do with this versatile tool.  This book will really expand your horizons on what all can be made in a cast iron skillet.

Not just content with giving you recipes for your cast iron skillet, this book also includes recipes for other cast iron cookware including enameled cookware and Dutch ovens.

The Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook: Recipes for the Best Pan in Your Kitchen is pretty straightforward. It doesn’t pretend to be anything other than a cookbook for cast iron. There are 192 pages  which include traditional recipes such as seared pork chops as well as more exotic fare like grilled Prosicutto wrapped radicchio.

Things We Like:

  • Lots of pictures and straightforward recipes
  • The Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook: Recipes for the Best Pan in Your Kitchen is priced right for the amount of information it gives you.

CLICK HERE to start getting the most out of your cast iron skillet.

Blog of the Week – La Bella Vita

La Bella Vita

Recently I was doing some research on cooking blogs and came across a cluster of absolutely wonderful blogspot recipe blogs that I will be bringing to you over the next little while. 

The first of these was featured last week and I hope you took the opportunity to visit Cooking for my Peace of Mind.

Now this week I have another dream of a site for you to check out.

La Bella Vita  – The Beautiful Life, is chock full of mouthwatering recipes that you are just going to want to dive right in and try.

Last week I was taken with the Peach Melba and Raspberries and I was going to talk about this recipe this week  when I added La Bella Vita as our blog of the week.

However, when I went back in I was captivated by the Triple Chocolate Fudge Cake. In fact you could say that this recipe is a dream come true for a chocolate cake lover like myself.

The recipes are well set out with beautiful photos to accompany each one.  There are tips and hints to help you out where Roz, the author has  found something doesn’t quite work in the original recipe, plus there are interesting snippets about life on country acreage in the Carolina’s.

So my advice is to get out those baking pans and start cooking up a treat that you and your family are just going to love.


Cuisinart Chefs Classic NonStick Hard Anodized 17 Piece Cookware Set Review

Cuisinart Chefs Classic 17pc Hard Anodized Cookware SetThis set contains a 1½ quart saucepan with lid, a 2 quart saucepan with lid, a 3 quart saucepan with lid, an 8 inch skillet, a 10 inch skillet, a 12 inch skillet with lid, a 4 quart sauté pan with lid, a 9 quart stockpot with lid, a 7¾ inch steamer insert with lid and a 9½ inch pasta insert.

The Hard Anondized Aluminum of this set conducts heat much faster.  This is great but it also means that you have to be careful because everything gets hotter quicker.  You need to turn the heat down much lower than you were used to or you’ll end up with burned food which can stick.

The insides of the pots and pans are a special Cuisinart non-stick substance that’s reinforced with titanium.  This makes it long lasting and extra smooth so that you will be able to cook without oil or very little.  It also makes cleanup a breeze!  Cuisinart say it’s best not to use metal utensils, so you will need to purchase a few inexpensive silicon and wood ones to make this set last.  There’s also a lifetime guarantee, if you look after the set properly!

The lids that come with the Cuisinart Chef’s Classic 17-Piece Cookware Set are glass and are apparently break-resistant.  The glass is a big bonus as you can see the food but there is also a lid for every item in the set.  You won’t have to hunt around for a spare lid that might fit the right pot…they’re all there!  Just be careful as the lids do get hot so you’ll need a potholder.

The other bonuses are the insert for steaming veggies and the one for cooking pasta.  You don’t often get these extras in a cookware set.

My only grumble would be that the pots don’t stack because the lids are domed.  So you will need plenty of space for storage if you want to leave the lids on. If you do stack the pots inside each other, put some kitchen paper between layers to prevent the pots scratching each other.

The set isn’t dishwasher safe but that’s not a problem because they are so easy to clean.  As long as the heat stays low and food doesn’t burn and stick, you can just run them under a tap and everything just slides off.  Even if there are a few burnt bits, a quick soak soon gets rid of it.

The set is safe in the oven up to 500 degrees which is a big help as it cuts down on time and the number of pots you will need to use when making a dish.

All in all, a great set for the price.

Where Can I Buy This Set?

Our ‘best buy’ choice is Amazon

Blog of the Week – Cooking for My Peace of Mind

Cooking for my Peace of MindToday I was just browsing the net for some interesting cooking ideas when I happened upon ‘ Cooking for My Peace of Mind“.

The Pineapple and Cheese casserole dish caught my eye and of course I then spent way too much time reading through the other interesting recipes on this blog.

And then I came across Saltimbocca Alla Romana  – well this is one I have earmarked to try.

Danielle resides in Southern California and she  has done a great job in putting together her recipe blog.   Not only are the recipes accompanied by clear, attractive photos but there are amusing and  interesting bits of chit chat that keep the reader wanting more.

So my advice is that if you are looking for  delicious and decidely different recipes then take the time to grab a coffee and spend some time reading through Cooking for My Peace of Mind.